Rules to observe when you meet a member of the Royal family

In A Royal Wedding, each chapter starts with a newspaper clipping. Here’s the start of chapter 3. I did a ton of research for this book, so this is actually genuine advice, y’know, in case you should meet a senior royal.

Rules to observe when you meet a member of the Royal family

Don’t be like Kumari Senavaka. Know your royal etiquette

Rule 1. Don’t touch them. Don’t initiate a handshake. If they indicate they want to shake your hand, do so, but then let go!

Rule 2: No selfies. The royals are not allowed to take selfies. You may ask someone else to take a photo, but no standing up close.

Rule 3: Show respect. Gentlemen bow and ladies curtsey to the Queen. Although the younger royals don’t insist on bows and curtseys, you may still want to, especially if you’re meeting Princess Helena because she is the future Queen.

Rule 4: Use proper forms of address. No first names please. The Queen should always be addressed as ‘Your Majesty’ at first and then ma’am. The Princes and princesses should be addressed as ‘Your Highness’ in the first instance and then ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ as appropriate.

Rule 5: When the Queen arrives, stand up.

both cover side by side

Buy A Royal Wedding now.

A Royal Wedding – all of the links

Some people have been having trouble with the US Amazon link to A Royal Wedding – with it coming up as unavailable. I’m not sure why this is, but if you did have trouble, here are the direct links to all the big Amazon and Kobo stores.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:


Kobo UK:

Kobo US:

Kobo CA:

Kobo AU:

And here are the lovely covers, ’cause you wanted to see them again, right?

both cover side by side

A Royal Wedding – release day!

It’s release day for A Royal Wedding, written by my alter ego Jeevani Charika. It’s available on all ebook platforms now.

A Royal Wedding UK cover

Here are five things I’ve tried to explore in the book:

Feminist princesses – is this possible? Given that we’ve had some many powerful Queens, we know that the royal family tends towards powerful women, so why not have powerful women who want to work make life better for other women? My heroine, Kumari is campaigning for a project that educates women in basic health and hygiene. The hero, Prince Benedict was raised by three strong women (his mother and two sisters). They are both feminists in their own ways.

The press fascination with race and with royalty. The tabloid press coverage of Meghan Markle was borderline racist (sometimes not even borderline – just outright racist). Each chapter in the book starts with a newspaper clipping. There’s a lot about race in there…

Family – Kumari’s greatest conflict and her strongest support comes from her family. Benedict’s family has always got his back. The people we love bind us and support us in equal measure.

The North/South divide and the class divide – this is a very British thing. Kumari is a middle class woman from Leeds. Benedict is an aristocrat from the South. At one point someone suggests that Kumari takes elocution lessons to soften her Yorkshire accent. You can imagine what she says to that!

The importance of inspiring role models – one of my favourite scenes is the one where Kumari realises that she’s become a figure that inspires little girls across the country. It was one of the first scenes I knew was going to be in the book. You’ll know it when you see it. A blue sari makes an appearance.

If you fancy all of that, wrapped in a happy ever after, go check out A Royal Wedding. It’s the first time I’ve written about race/ ethnicity in a romance (and, not-coincidentally, written under my real name). If you like the book, let me know!





I’m in the Bookseller … with a whole new name

Jeevani Charika name and frangipani

I’ve got some news that I’ve been sitting on for a number of months now. I’m getting a whole new pen name – Jeevani Charika. The main difference between Rhoda and Jeevani is that Jeevani writes about Sri Lakan protagonists.

I wrote a Royal Wedding romance for Bonnier Zaffre.  It’s called A Royal Wedding and it’s coming out on the 10th of May … I should have cover(s) to show you really soon.

In the meantime, here’s my new website! I intend to keep blogging etc on this site rather than the new one.

Jeevani Charika name and frangipaniAnd here’s the link to the announcement in The Bookseller. (The Bookseller! Blimey!)

Two fantastic reviews

Just when things are starting to feel gloomy (we have frost and gloom, but no actual snow here), up popped two reviews which totally made my week.

Rachel’s Random Reads reviewed Girl In Trouble and gave it 5 stars:

The San Francisco Review of Books reviewed Girl At Christmas:

So all in all, happy me.

If you want to try a sample of Girl In Trouble – you can get it here:

Or you could sign up to my newsletter and get Girl At Christmas for free!

Have a wonderful day, regardless of whether or not you have snow to play in.


It’s Christmas novella time!


It’s nearly December, so it must be time to break out a Christmas novella or two.

I have two Christmas novellas out this year. Girl At Christmas, which is set in the same world as the other ‘Smart Girls’ series books, and Snowed In, which is set in a fictional town in West Yorkshire. Here they are:


As you can see Milly Johnson and Jane Lovering have nice things to say about them, so you might like them too!

Both novellas have slightly geeky characters and at least one South Asian main character.

You can buy them separately or together in this handy ‘box set’. (Technically,  it’s an omnibus edition because it’s not actually in a box … but there aren’t any wheels, so I’m going with box set as a description). You save a quid on the box set compared to getting them separately. Aha, you say. But they’ll be dropping down to 99p soon… except they won’t, because the book promotion sites tend not to take novellas, so it’s not worth the hassle.

AChristmasDuet Box.jpg

Buy Snowed In

Buy Girl At Christmas

Buy the super duper box set

Happy holiday reading!


Girl At Christmas is out!

Brown girl and Christmas tree

Hooray! Girl At Christmas is available to buy now.

Girl at christmas cover w quote

If you like your Christmas novellas with a side order of beta hero and warm humour, then this is the book for you.

Here are some (very) early review quotes:

“Fresh and Fun.” Goodreads review

” … real, ordinary people, with real, ordinary lives, they are honest and believable.” Amazon review

“Simple truth about your day to day life that any woman can relate with” Amazon India review

And of course, the quote on the cover from the fabulous Jane Lovering – who knows a thing or two about writing rom coms: “Warm, witty, cute and Christmassy. I just loved it!”

So, go buy:

Everywhere else (Kobo, Ibooks etc)

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

It’s Christmas novella time! Girl At Christmas is out soon.

It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking about Christmas. I’ve got not one, but TWO Christmas novellas coming out in the next month. The first one is out next week.

Girl at christmas cover w quote.jpg


Tammy is normally at her happiest at Christmas when she has the flat to decorate and those perfect days between Christmas and New Year to relax. But when her long term partner dumps her with no real explanation, her Christmas starts to look very bleak.

Lawrence usually spends Christmas watching DVDs and catching up on his paperwork. At thirty one, he’s already stuck in a rut.

When Lawrence has a sudden heart attack, it is Tammy who comes to his rescue. It turns out a happy Christmas can be made from the most unexpected ingredients.


You can preorder it  now – or just order it in the normal way next week.

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Everywhere else:

Girl In Trouble is out now!

cartoon sassy woman with city in background

To celebrate the release of Girl In Trouble (the sequel to Girl Having A Ball),  I’m having a small blog splash (a blog splish?). To kick things off, there are my own responses to the three prompts:

Both Olivia and Walter undergo changes that they feel are bad, but end up being positive. Have you ever had a blessing in disguise? … 

When I was at university (years ago now – before Twitter or Facebook existed!), I was on a four year course. My college allocated accommodation in college owned houses for fourth  years and where you ended up was decided by ballot. I was given a place in a college house which was in North Oxford. It was lovely and cheap. The only problem was, I wouldn’t be living with any friends. Everyone else in the house was a lot cooler and smoother and more ‘Oxford’ than I was. Most of them went to public school – whereas I went to a small northern comprehensive. Even though they were all very nice people, I would Not Fit In.

This caused me quite a lot of anxiety at the time. I was already hamstrung by impostor syndrome at ‘work’, I didn’t need to face it at home as well! The final blow came in the form of an invitation to a birthday party which suggested ‘designer labels’ as a dress code (I didn’t own any). I panicked and started to look for somewhere else I could live. A friend mentioned a place affectionately called ‘the nunnery’ – a student community run by the Convent of the Sacred Heart (the house appears in Girl In Trouble as the venue for Tom’s wedding). You had to have an interview to get a chance to live there. It was a chance. I took it. I was lucky enough to get in.

In my first week living in the house, I met a skinny young research chemist who was starting his first year as a PhD student. We bonded over a very stupid joke that no one else got. We’ve been together ever since. So, yes. Being allocated a room in a house where I would not fit in was definitely a blessing in disguise.

Walter thinks hydrothermal vents are beautiful, but no one else does. What is your obscure love/ guilty pleasure, and why? …

I have a thing for carnivorous plants. Okay, I’m not terribly good at keeping them alive (they’re delicate little things), but for a while I had a small collection – several sundews, a butterwort and one tiny liverwort which lived in a terrarium on my windowsill and every so often produced the most incredible flowers. I also had several pitcher plants – two nepenthes and one sarracenia which lived outside in a pear tree. I used to carry a matchbox around into which I could put dead flies so that I could feed them to the sundews.

They are delicate and need rainwater to survive (not the hard water that came out of the tap) and after the kids were born, I kept forgetting to water them. In the end, when we moved house, I left them behind.

As for hydrothemal vents, I think they’re amazing… but not as beautiful as Walter thinks they are. Weirdo.

 Since The Octonauts comes up a lot in the book – what is the TV program or book or game that you miss most from your childhood? 

My older daughter was a big fan of The Octonauts, so I watched a lot of it. I still find the little figurines from time to time. There were some seriously odd things about the show – the matter of scale, for a start; and then the fact that those creatures would naturally be part of a food chain… On the other hand, they had some cool tech. The Octopod is very space age. The creatures that show up in the show are carefully researched and reflect marine life very well (when we moved to Hull and started visiting The Deep, we were surprised at how accurate the descriptions and pictures on the show were). We’ve had many interesting discussions about life via The Octonauts. Like the distinction between ‘A medical doctor like Peso, or a doctor who studies things, like Shellington’.

I had rather a lot about The Octonauts in the book – because Walter’s daughter (well, Walter, really) is a fan. I ended up editing quite a lot of it out because it didn’t have much to do with the story.

I hope you enjoyed my contribution to the blog splash. I’ll be sharing the other posts from people throughout the day. And… please buy my book.

Girl in Trouble cover 3 w quote

Grown up tomboy Olivia doesn’t need a man to complete her. Judging by her absent father, men aren’t that reliable anyway. She’s got a successful career, good friends and can evict spiders from the bath herself, so she doesn’t need to settle down, thanks.
Walter’s ex is moving his daughter to America and Walter feels like he’s losing his family. When his friend-with-benefits, Olivia, discovers she’s pregnant by her douchebag ex, Walter sees the perfect chance to be part of a family with a woman he loves. But how can Walter persuade the most independent woman he’s ever met to accept his help, let alone his heart?
Girl In Trouble is the third book in the award nominated Smart Girls series by Rhoda Baxter. If you like charming heroes, alpha heroines and sparkling dialogue, you’ll love this series. Ideal for fans of Sarah Morgan, Lindsey Kelk or Meg Cabot’s Boy books. Buy now and meet your new favourite heroine today.
Buy link (should go to your preferred bookstore):

It’s on special offer for 99p until the 10th of October (tomorrow!). If you buy this week you get two short books as a bonus!

Go buy – Go! Go! Go!